When Latino migration to the U.S. South became increasingly visible in the 1990s, observers and advocates grasped for ways to analyze “new” racial dramas in the absence of historical reference points. However, as this book is the first to comprehensively document, Mexicans and Mexican Americans have a long history of migration to the U.S. South. …
This enthusiasm for guest workers—temporary laborers stripped of the right to choose employers, bargain for higher wages, or remain within the United States past the expiration date of their labor contract—ignores a few basic problems. McGurn’s oversimplified history of the Bracero Program bears no resemblance to the growing scholarship on the binational contract labor scheme and its many problems.
Tamar W. Carroll, author of Mobilizing New York: AIDS, Antipoverty, and Feminist Activism, helped produce a video featuring women from the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, chapter of the National Congress of Neighborhood Women in the 1970s. The NCNW is the subject of two chapters of Mobilizing New York.
Often overlooked in studies of Cuban musicians during the golden age of Latin popular music in the United States are the contributions of Afro-Cuban women singers. Two of the most prominent performers during the1940s and1950s were Graciela Pérez Grillo, lead singer for Machito y sus Afro-Cubans, and Celia Cruz, lead singer for La Sonora Matancera.
Tomás F. Summers Sandoval Jr., author of Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco, explains how history might not be synonymous with the past.
Criticism and embrace of identity terms like “Hispanic” and “Latino/a” have been longstanding in the field of Latino/a Studies. Puerto Ricans, Flores argued, share more in common with African Americans than with other Latino/a groups. He contended that Puerto Ricans and African Americans experience similar forms of racial and ethnic subordination in the United States because of parallels in their location in urban areas, their socioeconomic status, and their position as colonized subjects of the same nation-state.
What is the relationship between residential segregation and racial inequality? Scholars have spent decades analyzing data and arguing that residential segregation is the “linchpin” of racial inequality in the United States. The conclusion that many draw, therefore, is that residential integration is the key to reducing racial inequality. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, not quite.
The use of non-White bodies by Whites to designate neighborhood space as distinct from racially segregated suburbia is an important commodifying and classifying practice of this white, urban, middle-class habitus. Important to note here is that in Creekridge Park very few White residents have relationships with their non-White neighbors. Whites did, however, regularly refer to non-Whites during our interviews to signal neighborhood diversity and interracial interactions.
The recent debate over the exact status of the tens of thousands of Central American children attempting to cross the U.S. border reminds us that there is often a very fine line dividing an immigrant from a refugee. It turns out that, according to a survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, a majority of Americans—regardless of age or political or religious affiliation—view these children as refugees rather than as illegal immigrants. Of course, the term “refugee” designates a special legal status that carries a wide range of political and bureaucratic implications.
The stories of these young Latinos reveal them as ordinary young Americans with many of the same experiences and hopes and aspirations as other young Americans of other ethnic backgrounds. Latinos are no different and perhaps here is what I want to convey in this book. Latinos are us and we are they. There should be no basis for irrational fears or hysteria that Latinos will fundamentally change American life and culture. Yes, they will add to it and the country will become to some extent Latinized but not in a way that fundamentally changes the culture. All ethnic groups contribute to what we mean by being “American” and the same has been true of Latinos. They change and we change and that is the process of social life.
Puerto Ricans played a pivotal role in the building of the civil rights movement in New York City—one of the less-heralded but still vital sites of movement.
Combating racism and other forms of discrimination, Latinos have a long history of civil rights struggles with the aim of integration. Despite being considered foreign, strangers, aliens (including “illegal aliens”), Latinos have fought in all of this country’s wars and as American soldiers in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. In World War II, as part of the Greatest Generation, perhaps as many as half a million Latinos fought in the military—and not for the Mexican army but for the U.S. Army. Latinos have shed their blood as Americans. The Latino Generation that I write about is the inheritor of this legacy.
At 10% of the U.S. electorate, Latino voters overwhelmingly (more than 70%) cast their ballots for the reelection of Barack Obama in 2012. Those numbers shed light on how Obama became the first U.S. President elected while losing the “white vote”, as they also signal the changing composition of the 21st-century United States.
Manufacturing jobs have all but disappeared as economic progress has been linked to an expanding financial sector as well as other “intellectual industries” like technology. This shift necessitates a robust service economy of workers who empty the trash, serve coffee, or perform other household tasks for those who are willing to pay. But those workers can no longer afford to live in the city.
In reality, scholarship in the fields of Chicana/o and Latina/o studies defies such easy simplifications, revealing that the struggle for citizenship, inclusion, and social justice in this country has historic, deep roots, and that forces for change do not always begin and end in Washington.
Only during the Poor People’s Campaign did activists of so many different backgrounds—from veterans of the labor and southern civil rights movements to Chicano, American Indian, antiwar, and welfare rights activists—attempt to construct a physical and spiritual community that addressed poverty and broader issues of social justice for longer than a one-day rally.
The argument that an endorsement of immigration reform by the GOP—or, for that matter, by many Democrats—will miraculously translate into more votes by Latinos reflects a simplistic understanding of their experience and history.
Produced with the cooperation of numerous individuals and institutions, the enhanced e-book features more than 150 interview excerpts, documents, and photographs, each embedded in the text where it will be most meaningful.
Fugitive slaves were the illegal immigrants of their time.
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